Palestinians Joined by 100 Foreign Civilians to Defy Checkpoint

Over one hundred foreign civilians served as an
"international protection force" for
Palestinians today and deployed at the Surda
military checkpoint to allow Palestinians safe
passage to and from work and school. Israeli
soldiers attacked the international group
with tear gas and concussion bombs, despite the
non-violent nature of their presence.

Dec. 29, 2001


Over one hundred foreign civilians served as an
"international protection force" for
Palestinians today and deployed at the Surda
military checkpoint (on the road from Ramallah to
Birzeit University) to allow Palestinians safe
passage to and from work and school.


The Israeli military checkpoint set up at occupied
Surda is the site of daily harassment of
Palestinian civilians by Israeli soldiers.
Palestinian cars are not permitted to pass and
thousands of Palestinians, old and young are
forced to walk uphill for over a kilometer when
passing.


The identification cards of young Palestinian men
are often confiscated and the young men
themselves forced to wait, sometimes hours, in
obedient positions behind barbed wire.


Israeli soldiers attacked the international group
with tear gas and concussion bombs, despite the
non-violent nature of their presence. The foreign
peace activists clearly identified themselves as
an international peace force and carried a
message of peace and justice.


Activists were pushed, shoved and even kicked by
soldiers who acted violently and aggressively.


More than one time, soldiers trained their sights
and laser targeting from their guns on unarmed
activists in a threatening gesture.


Palestinian and international activists held firm,
and the soldiers were not really up to the full
use of brutal force against the mixed group. As a
result the road was kept the road open all day,
allowing Palestinians to pass without harassment.


Additionally, Palestinian activists removed an
Israeli outpost, used by soldiers to control the
area.


At no time were stones thrown by protestors and at
no time were there any violent gestures or actions
by the peace activists.


Today’s action by internationals and Palestinians
is a call for more concrete intervention by the
international community.


"It’s shameful that our countries stand by
while Israel continues to terrorize the
Palestinian people. I’m here to stand up against
injustice and to urge my government to do the
same," said U.S. citizen and participant
Brian Wood.


For photos, see:



http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=Palestinian&c=news_photos


For more information, call Huwaida at
052.642.709

or Palestinian Center for Rapprochement at
02.277.2018

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Author: Huwaida Arraf

News Service: Gush Shalom

URL: http://www.gush-shalom.org/